Aroma-oral care study in palliative care (part 5)

Individual case study examples

For a clearer insight of how case studies were managed, a few examples are presented bellow.

AWM oral care individual case studies

An 82-year-old female patient in terminal palliative care had oral candidas, drained oral mucosa and wears a Nasogastric sonde.
Our goal was to refresh and improve oral cavity.

We washed oral cavity with original AWM 2 times a day, in the morning at 8 am and evening at 7 pm. AWM was sprayed on to oral care sponges that were used to clean the oral cavity. One sponge was used for upper gums than a new one to clean all of them, and a third one to clean the tongue. More sponges were used if necessary.

The intervention started on February 6. 2017. and we continue to use it (written on March 31. 2017.).

The results included:

  • less lining the mouth and better tongue colour (score 8/10),
  • Candida Albicans decreased but not completely vanished (score 8/10),
  • less dryness in the mouth (score 10/10),
  • less inflammation (score 8/10).

The patient can not speak but shakes her head to confirm that she likes the taste and smell. When using AWM, the patient looks satisfied and relaxed.

We are pleased with the results. I would suggest using it more frequently for better results.

 

AWM spray case study

A 79-year-old female patient in palliative care had bleeding gums and lips as well as mouth ulcers. Our goal was to improve the condition of the oral mucous membrane, so that routine oral care would not be as painful.

We used AWM spray 3 times a day (or more) from November 23. 2016. to January 18. 2017, when she passed away. The patient likes the taste and has no reaction to the smell.

The results included a more moist mucosa (score 7/10), as well as less lining the mouth, bleeding and mouth ulcers. The tongue wasn’t as white anymore and the breath was better.

The patient, her caregivers and the staff were all pleased with the results.

 

Case study – Satureja montana (winter savory)

A 61-year-old male patient in palliative care with throat cancer has trouble swallowing and burning pain in the mouth with constantly dry mouth mucosa and poor appetite. He is nervous and in a bad mood. He has tracheostomy and talks with a speaking device. Our goal was to refresh oral mucous membrane, improve taste and breath.

We used winter savory hydrolat spray 3 to 5 times a day. During the day the patient used a 30 ml winter savory hydrolat spray when he felt he needed refreshment. The intervention started in march 2017. and we continue to use it (written on April 25. 2017.).

The results included:

  • less lining the mouth and better tongue colour (score 5/10),
  • fewer mouth ulcers (score 6/10),
  • less dryness in the mouth (score 8/10),
  • better breath (score 8/10),
  • less pain (score 6/10),
  • less inflammation (score 4/10),
  • better taste (score 8/10).
  • The patient likes the taste as well as the smell and it reminds him of food. The patient reports that:
    he enjoys his winter savory hydrolat spray very much,
  • has a pleasant sensation in the mouth,
  • has less “burning” pain,
  • has less thrust,
  • has better taste,
  • and better breath.

We met our goal. The patient is in a better mood, his mouth mucosa is moist and less painful. He asked for a winter savory hydrolat spray refill for the third time.

 

Case study – Salvia officinalis (sage)

A 59-year-old female pancreas cancer patient in palliative care. She is in 3. and 4. cycle chemotherapy phase. She is weak and in a poor mood with occasional insomnia. She has a foul breath, especially in the morning. She wakes up with sticky mouth and lips.

She has a poor appetite and doesn’t eat the food she had previously enjoyed.

Our goal was to refresh oral mucous membrane, improve taste and mood of the patient.

Our goal was to refresh oral mucous membrane, improve taste and mood of the patient.

We used sage hydrolat spray 3 to 5 times a day. In the morning she brushed the teeth as usual and used sage hydrolat spray during the day to hydrate the oral mucosa. The intervention started in march 2017. and we continue to use it (written on April 25. 2017.).

The results included:

  • less lining the mouth and better tongue colour (score 8/10),
  • less dryness in the mouth (score 8/10),
  • better breath (score 8/10),
  • less inflammation (score 3/10),
  • better taste (score 8/10).

The patient likes the taste as well as the smell and it reminds her of food and evenings by the sea. The patient reports that she especially enjoys using the spray just before she goes to sleep because she wakes up with a completely different (better) feeling in the mouth than usually (when she is not using the spray). Her mouth doesn’t feel uncomfortable and does not have sticky lips and mouth anymore. She is also less thirsty.

We are pleased with the results and the patient will continue using sage hydrolat spray for hydrating mucosa.

(continue reading)


Melani Kovač
aromatherapist, educator

Acknowledgements
Andreja Stefan Bukovic, Ana Simenc, Darja Noc, Maja Krzisnik, Mojca Tuljak and Petra Jenko for their research and cooperation with this study. Stjepko Curin (PTO Curin), Jana Bergant (Histria Botanica) for donating hydrolats and Petra Sedej (Aromazen) for donating spray bottles. Maja Pecenic for her advice in the writing of this article.

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